difficulty tacking 32

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  • May 02, 2016 10:36 AM
    Message # 3998867
    Deleted user

    I have been sailing my32  for about 1 year. It is rigged with a high yankee jib, staysail and main, all as per original sails.


    It simply will not point into the wind to tack. It gets to about 20 degrees off the wind and sits there no matter how far over I push the tiller.  It does this under all conditions.  To tack I have to do a gybe and do a 360. Seems ridiculous.


    Clearly I am doing something wrong.  What?   Too much forsail?


    Thanks John 

    Last modified: May 02, 2016 10:37 AM | Deleted user
  • May 02, 2016 7:39 PM
    Reply # 3999678 on 3998867
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I used to stall out all the time when tacking:( - you do need hull speed to pass through the eye of the wind.   I've found the falling off to gain speed then trying to use min tiller input  to start the turn and increasing the tiller - letting the jib backwind to push the bow down - then releasing the jib sheets to complete the tack. 

    When you have high winds the bow will be pushed down wind as you try to turn into the wind and with wind waves and slop and it does get hard. Doing a chicken jibe will work also - just keep control of the boom..

    PSThe rudder will act as a brake at 38 degrees if memory serves?  



  • May 03, 2016 5:31 AM
    Reply # 4000263 on 3998867
    Deleted user

    Thanks.  My problem is not getting stuck in the irons. The problem is the boat getting to about 20-30 degrees and staying there.  Pointing up wind but sails still under load.


    I think I just have too much forsail and it catches the wind and will not allow the boat past about 20-30 degrees.  But I can't really take down the sail under load. So I cannot get it to point up wind to even take down sail.


    Seems odd.



  • May 03, 2016 5:32 AM
    Reply # 4000264 on 3998867
    Deleted user

    Perhaps I m pushing the tiller hard over and it is braking the  boat, not allowing it to continue the turn?



  • May 03, 2016 9:05 AM
    Reply # 4000597 on 3998867

    Where are the head sail cars in relationship to the companion way bulk head ? If they are all the way forward try moving them back , way back . Also this could be a contributing factor , have you tuned your rig ? And how are your sails ? If they are blown out and baggy to the point where it is hard to get good shape that could be a problem too . Is the out haul on the main adjusted correctly ? 

    Last modified: May 03, 2016 9:06 AM | Anonymous member
  • May 03, 2016 10:09 AM
    Reply # 4000688 on 3998867

    I had a 70% yankee before buying a new 100% and it was difficult to tack in winds below 10-12 knots. Even now with less than 8 knots of wind I have to assist the headsail between the inner and outer stays. 

    The key is to make sure you have enough speed (2-3 knots), then hold the headsail until she's past irons (backing the headsail), wait until after the boom comes across the wind, and finally sheet in on the leeward and out on the windward. Don't release the windward sheet, but keep some light tension on it to pass the headsail through. Backing the headsail is an important part of the transition. If it's luffing then there will be nothing to help the bow around. 

    If you're going slow, fall off a bit and sheet in more to pick up speed before doing your tack. She needs to be moving enough so that she doesn't stall from the turn. I've found the sufficient speed to be about 2 knots. Also make sure you go hard over, making the shortest radius turn as possible. Otherwise you'll slow down enough to stop momentum. Never use an autopilot to make your tack. The pilot arm does not allow for enough distance to push the tiller hard over, which is what you need to do for the tack.

  • May 03, 2016 10:44 AM
    Reply # 4000737 on 3998867
    Deleted user

    Thanks I will look into the sails.  They seem fine to me but I am still learning. I think the forestay (on which I have the furling rig for the jib)  may be too slack.  The main is quite tight as is the staysail.


       Maybe it's haunted?   I think operator error is involved here.



  • May 03, 2016 11:07 AM
    Reply # 4000753 on 3998867


    I've short tacked a large 40' cutter rigged ketch and it is very different than the racing boats I've tacked.  Race boats do spin right on top of the keel it seems and with relatively little draught fore and aft they tack 40-to-40 [even on very little speed, but enough for steerage].

    My response is similar to Tony's where falling off for speed and then committing to a tack on potentially 45-to-45+ or 45-to-50+ back-winding the foresail to push the bow down, the wind aids in the foresail coming through the slot, and then finally coming back up on the opposing tack and course desired.  Anticipation and practice on the helm can get you to that 45-to-45.  Add Norm's recommendation to timing with the wave state, and the tacking would be respectable to a tallshipman's eye.



    Last modified: May 03, 2016 11:08 AM | Anonymous member
  • May 04, 2016 3:55 AM
    Reply # 4001715 on 3998867

    Several people seem to have answered your questions pretty well.  My 2 cents is that I often fall off to gain speed to ensure I can complete the tack, and I always back the head sail until the boat has passed well through the eye of the wind---this also helps the head sail to pass quickly and easily between the fore stay and stays'l stay without any fuss.


  • May 04, 2016 5:51 AM
    Reply # 4001884 on 3998867
    Deleted user



    I think you are correct. I need to depower the main going into the tack. The boat wants to stall with the sails under load, and this under all conditions. Even light winds. But if I let out the main a bit and go into the tack a bit slower on the till perhaps it will work.


    Clearly this has to be a sail/trim issue.


                     Thanks, John 

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